20 October 2008

Since graduating, I began Traveling with Baby: a blog on health and parenting. I also blog at Deep South Moms. I expect to continue the Chiropractic Perspectives blog on my new practice website in the very near future. So, subscribe, read, and contact me!

20 September 2007

Closing a chapter on professional education

Tomorrow at 2pm, I will graduate. After 3.25 years of chiropractic school (following a 4-year undergraduate program), I will finally be a doctor of chiropractic. I'm DONE with school . . . at LAST!

Now, I just need to make it through my last month of pregnancy, and this is definitely a tough month! I'm so belly heavy that it's uncomfortable to sit, sleep, walk, stand, or do just about anything. I love it when the blood just rushes to my uterus and about all I can do is sit down on the floor. I can go from being relaxed to feeling so uncomfortable that I have to just plop down wherever I'm at in about 30 seconds. Right now, this little bambino is chalking up about 6 lbs, and I still have almost a month to go. Estimated baby weight at birth is 8.5 lbs.

Even though I can't don the cap, gown, and hood for the ceremony and celebrate in true 073 style, I'm going to celebrate tomorrow evening anyway. My mom and step-dad are meeting us in Clarks Summit for dinner at Pepato's Cafe. Yay!

Hopefully in the next 6 months, Steve & I will figure out where we want to move and settle down . . . where we'll open a practice, and then I can figure out all the other details involved with that huge life-changing event!

I'm taking a hiatus on this blog for awhile since I'm not going to be doing anything chiropractic-related for a few months (at least until well after the baby's born and I'm licensed). But, for updates on baby and travel, stay tuned to our Baby Blog.

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09 September 2007

Preceptorship Week 8 of 8

I finished up on the last week of August. What a crazy week. There were 4 out of town patients, and at the end of a week, a doctor came up to train (2 of the patients were his from Texas). It was madness with the schedule and local patients on top of that.

I was so burned out by the end of the preceptorship that I was so glad to be done and to get back to PA to relax. I was able to get some good work on Steve, per post radiographs. I also sat in the scoliosis traction chair for 5 minute sessions a few times to pull on my right side dorsal-upper-dorsal angle. It made my ribs and upper thoracics feel so much better!

I learned a lot during my 8 weeks preceptoring. I saw some interesting cases, and got a better understanding of the flow for rehab and scoliosis correction. I learned how I would do things differently in regard to staff communication and leadership. I learned how to deal with difficult patients, or the difficult parents of patients, and I learned how to better analyze radiographs. I also realized that I most definitely don't want to work that many clinic hours per week. I just don't want to burn both ends of the wick...I'd rather work 20-30 hours a week and be totally focused and energized with my patients during those hours than to give them only 60% of my energy, and have even less left over in the evenings for my family.

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26 August 2007

Preceptorship Week 7 of 8

Last week we worked with a couple of out of country, intensive care scoliosis patients. Having new patients here for intensive treatment is a lot of work.

Monday: history and exam, full-spine x-rays and analysis, report of findings, demonstrating and teaching patient exercises, 2 rounds of treatment with warm-up (MIX), adjustments (FIX), and rehabilitation (SET) which usually lasts 2-2.5 hours.

Usually, I don't have to start taking photos of the patients until the 2nd day, but that wasn't the case this week. I added it up and taking photos of the patients x-rays, the patients warming up, getting adjusted, and doing rehab adds up to close to 120 photos per patient. So, on average, I take about 240 photos per week, edit & crop photos, and create a 38-40 page personalized report for the patients.

On top of everything going on with that, we were short 1 staff member last week because she was on vacation. Then, on Tuesday afternoon, the other staff member who works with patient rehab wasn't able to come in due to a family emergency. That left 1 person, the intern, ME, doing EVERYTHING: muscle stim on regular patients, setting up 4 scoliosis patients on all the mix and set rehab equipment. Additionally, the doctor was giving me even more stuff to do like review home exercises with a patient. There's only so much 1 person can do in an afternoon to get everyone done by closing time!

I was so thankful for the weekend!!

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Can't Get Enough Tests!

Steve & I decided we're going to get certified by the National Strength and Conditioning Association's (NSCA) as Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialists (CSCS). According to Steve, who was an athletic trainer at the State University of NY - Brockport, CSCS is the gold standard of certification for an athletic trainer or a healthcare professional who's working with athletes or even in a clinical setting.

Steve wants the certification to strengthen his credentials as a fitness instructor and to possibly open the doors for other job opportunities. Let's face it, having a masters in Biblical Studies doesn't necessarily pay the bills. All throughout school, he's encouraged me to get the certification, but the constant study cycle for chiropractic national boards never quite made CSCS cert a priority for me. However, since I hope to one-day hire an athletic trainer as part of my practice, it will help me to have a stronger understanding and appreciation for what they do.

Certification requires being current in First Aid and CPR. Since my CPR certification runs out in October, I have to get recurrent on it (internet studying and a 2 hour class should cover it!). Then, Steve & I have to study for the CSCS exam and schedule to take that at some point in the fall.

I supposed the best time to study is now. I know HOW to study since I just did it intensively for the past 3 years, and most of the exam material is stuff I learned in school: anatomy, physiology, and orthopedic tests. New to me will be info on managing a gym (who cares?! but it's on the test).

Orthopedic Exams

The folks who really know how to demonstrate orthopedic tests of extremities are athletic trainers who work with numerous injuries and abnormal presentations on a daily basis. A prof at California State University in Fresno created a blog with instructional videos on several orthopedic assessments. Watch, learn, and enjoy!

15 August 2007

Preceptorship Weeks 5 & 6 of 8

Last week, I was able to visit a local clinic that's only been open less than 2 years. Dr. Keith gave me lots of awesome pointers on where to find office supplies and clinic equipment for an inexpensive price. Seeing his practice also gave me confidence to know that I can start out from scractch with bare-bones for adjusting equipment, and still make it!

This week, we have several out of town patients here for a week of intensive treatment. I've been busy with exams, report of findings, teaching patients' their home exercise and rehab protocols, running the scoliosis center, and helping out with front desk operations. Also, a doctor from Mississippi is in town training for a week; she's here with a CA and her husband. I've been able to pick her brain and learn about running a high volume practice that includes scoliosis treatment while also being a mom. She's given me a lot of tips and pointers, including adjusting patients much larger than me and still achieving results (thank goodness for Thompson drop tables!). Together, we've been analyzing x-rays and determining the best method for treatment for the respective patients.

The more clinics I visit, the clearer picture I develop on how I want my future practice to look and to run. However, I'm still undecided on whether or not I'll work with insurance plans . . . or at least whether or not I'll work with Medicare. I still don't know how I'll eventually balance being a mom AND a doctor, because I never want my practice to come before my family. I never want my kids to grow up and say that their mom wasn't around enough for them. Somehow, Steve and I will balance raising a family, running a practice, and cultivating our marriage for a lifetime.

Maybe it's for the best that I don't know yet where I'll practice, where we'll plant our roots, and what we're doing after the next 6-8 months. For now, we're focusing on having a baby, meeting our immediate budget needs, and being open to what plans God has for us in the future!

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04 August 2007

Preceptorship Week 5 of 8

Less than 1 month left . . . and past the half-way mark of preceptorship! This past week, I did exams on an out-of-town teenage scoliosis patient and her mom. Both improved considerably with 5 days of treatment, and both felt tremendously better after only 5 days of treatment. Focusing on cervical curve restoration and addressing the upper cervical subluxations helped them to feel "lighter and clear-minded" and it reduced a lot of headache pain and nausea related to the strain they were both feeling on their spinal cords.

Additionally, I did an exam on a non-scoliosis patient who complained of a foot drop and low back pain due to nerves severed from an injury in the military. The orthopedic tests and motor and sensory tests we learn in school definitely come into play for a case like that!

On another interesting note, I learned more about the genetic disease, Turner's syndrome. In Turner's syndrome, females have only 1 X chromosome (X,O) instead of X,X. Some Turner's syndrome females manifest with X,Y.

In school and for national boards, we learn about the common characteristics which manifest itself in an adult, but we never learn about what that presentation looks like in a child. There is a young patient who is undergoing genetic testing for this disease. Although the results haven't yet been provided, some research provided more insight into the presentation . . . and this patient presents with very classic findings:
  • short stature for her age
  • congenital heart defect
  • scoliosis
  • drooping eyes, down-slanted eyes
Other related affects with Turner's are kidney defects and premature ovarian eggs which typically means that someone with this disease cannot get pregnant nor have children. Although a young girl who isn't yet interested in boys may not think this is a big deal, one day it may be a hard concept for her to embrace. I would think it would be even more difficult for her parents to endure. You can read more about Turner's syndrome here.

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